Merced Star, Nov. 4, 1915
WILLIAM MEANS, PIONEER RESIDENT OF COUNTY, DEAD
William L. Means, the last resident pioneer of the days of the early 50's on
the Merced river section, died at his home near Hopeton Thursday afternoon of
Deceased was born in Butler county, Alabama, on November 29, 1827, and was
therefore nearly 88 years of age. While he was yet a boy his parents moved to
western Texas where he attained manhood and joined the Texas calvary in the
Mexican war. He arrived in California in 1850 and settled in Tuolumne county,
and later moved to Mariposa county and settled in a territory which was
afterward made a part of Merced county.
During the Civil war he returned to Texas and served for a time in the
Confederate army and then returned to this county and purchased seventy-five
acres of Merced bottom land in the Hopeton district, where he settled on the
farm that became his lifelong home. In 1869 he visited Texas, and while there
married, Elizabeth Thompson, also a native of Alabama, who died a few years
ago. The four children of this union, who survive the parents, are a son, and
three daughters as follows; William W., Eva (Mrs. William Little), and Blanch
of Hopeton; and Lizzie ( Mrs. A. B. Reid) of Bear Creek district. Mr. Means
served two years on the county board of supervisors being elected the first
time in 1879.
He was an able representative of the hardy pioneer, always honorable in his
dealings, true to himself and friends, hospitable, charitable and commanding a
high respect in the neighborhood. For many years he was a prominent member of
Merced Lodge, Royal Arch Masons.
Funeral services were held at the family home Sunday afternoon, conducted by
Rev. H. T. Babcock of the Central Presbyterian church of Merced, and interment
was made in the Snelling cemetery. Masonic rites were observed at the grave
and a large delegation from Merced were among the mourners.